Smart and Small: New Infineon 3D Image Sensor Chip Family Provides High Integration Touchless Gesture Control for Computers and Consumer Devices

Joint press release by Infineon Technologies and pmdtechnologies

May 29, 2013 | Technology Media

Neubiberg and Siegen, Germany – May 29, 2013 – Infineon Technologies AG (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) today introduced a family of 3D Image Sensor chips for implementation of touchless gesture recognition. Developed in cooperation with pmdtechnologies GmbH, the new chips are the first to combine a 3D image sensing pixel array with the digital conversion and control functionality needed to design very compact and accurate monocular systems for gesture recognition applications in computers and consumer electronics devices.

Touchless Gesture Control

The Infineon 3D Image Sensor chips will simplify and enhance the way people interact with machines. They enable fast and reliable tracking of finger movements and hand gestures to complement today’s touch screen and mouse or stylus user interfaces.

“Gesture recognition will dramatically change the way people control computing and consumer electronic systems,” says Ralf Bornefeld, Vice President and General Manager of the Sense & Control business line at Infineon Technologies AG. “We expect touchless gesture interfaces based on our 3D Image Sensor to change the user experience and enhance productivity the same way that the mouse did decades ago with the PC.”

3D cameras based on the Infineon 3D Image Sensor chip family can achieve unmatched levels of miniaturization and deliver an excellent user experience. High level integration lowers cost and size of a complete camera module. In fact, a reference design based on this chip is the smallest 3D image sensing camera now available.

Collaboration with pmdtechnologies

The Infineon 3D Image Sensor chips were developed in collaboration with pmdtechnologies GmbH (Siegen, Germany), which is recognized as the world’s leading technology provider for 3D Image Sensors based on the Time-of-Flight (ToF) principle. The new chip family includes pmd’s ToF pixel matrix and patented Suppression of Background Illumination (SBI), a feature which improves the sensor chip’s dynamic range for indoor and outdoor operations.

"The consolidation of the existing and mature Time-of-Flight 3D sensing know-how at pmd and the volume-proven, mixed-signal CMOS process technology and design expertise of Infineon will pave the way to the best possible user experience for touchless gesture recognition applications,” says Dr. Bernd Buxbaum, CEO of pmdtechnologies.

Key Features of the Infineon 3D Image Sensor Family

The Infineon chip family offers the highest level of integration now available, including the photosensitive pixel array, sophisticated control logic, digital interfaces with ADCs (Analog-to-Digital Converters) and digital outputs.

The Infineon 3D Image Sensor family currently includes two members. The IRS1010C has a resolution of 160x120 pixels and the IRS1020C has a resolution of 352x288 pixels. Both are dynamically configurable via I²C interface, allowing adjustment in real time to changing lighting and operating conditions. The chips are delivered as bare die for integration with camera lens and Infra-Red (IR) illumination source in a camera module.

Availability of 3D Image Sensors, camera reference design and starter kits

Samples of the Infineon 3D Image Sensors are now available for development of 3D camera systems. Volume production is planned for mid-2014.

Also available is the CamBoard pico, the world’s smallest reference design for 3D cameras. Designed by pmdtechnologies, this USB-powered QQVGA resolution 3D camera is based on the IRS1010C 3D Image Sensor chip. It measures only 85 x 17 x 8 mm³, which makes it the smallest depth sensing camera available today. The CamBoard pico demonstrates the extremely low latency and precision achieved with the Infineon 3D Image Sensor chip, which are the key enabling factors for touchless gesture interaction.

Further information

Further technical information on the 3D Image Sensor chips is available at www.infineon.com/3d-imaging

About pmdtechnologies

pmdtechnologies GmbH, a fabless IC company, is the worldwide leading 3D Time-of-Flight CMOS-based digital imaging supplier. Started up in 2002 the company owns worldwide patents concerning pmd-based applications, the pmd (Photonic Mixer Device) principle and its realization. Figures to 2012 show that pmdtechnologies GmbH has already sold more than 500,000 pmd sensors.

Further information is available at www.pmdtec.com.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Neubiberg, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society: energy efficiency, mobility, and security. In the 2012 fiscal year (ending September 30), the Company reported sales of Euro 3.9 billion with close to 26,700 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX) and in the USA on the over-the-counter market OTCQX International Premier (ticker symbol: IFNNY).

Information Number

INFATV201305.050

Press Photos

  • With the Infineon 3D Image Sensor chips tracking of finger movements and hand gestures can complement today's touch screen and mouse or stylus user interfaces of computers and consumer electronics devices.
    With the Infineon 3D Image Sensor chips tracking of finger movements and hand gestures can complement today's touch screen and mouse or stylus user interfaces of computers and consumer electronics devices.
    Infineon_3D_Image_Sensor

    JPG | 371 kb | 3000 x 3000 px

  • The USB-powered QQVGA resolution 3D camera is based on the IRS1010C 3D Image Sensor chip from Infineon. Measures of only 85 x 17 x 8 mm make it the smallest depth sensing camera available today.
    The USB-powered QQVGA resolution 3D camera is based on the IRS1010C 3D Image Sensor chip from Infineon. Measures of only 85 x 17 x 8 mm make it the smallest depth sensing camera available today.
    CamBoard_pico

    JPG | 349 kb | 2499 x 1666 px